Student loans typically last for the duration of your degree programme; however, in some cases you may be able to extend your student finance, for example if you need to repeat a year.


Is It Possible To Extend a Student Loan?

Usually your student loan will last for the duration of your degree programme plus one additional year. For example, degrees are typically three years in the UK so the maximum number of years of Tuition Fee Loan available for these courses will  be four years.

However, in some circumstances you will be able to extend your loan. For example, if your situation changes and you need to temporarily stop your studies or change degree, you may be able to receive more funding to extend to the end of your new course.


How Long Do I Have To Repay My Student Loan?

It is also not necessary to repay your student loan upon completion of your degree. The Extended Repayment Plan permits you to repay your loans over an extended period of time lasting up to 25 years. This allows borrowers to pay back lower monthly payments over a longer period of time.




There are different repayment plans depending on when you took out your student loan which will affect how much you need to repay and over how much time. Additionally, you will only start to repay your student loan when you are earning a certain amount. If you are not earning enough, or are unemployed, there is no obligation to repay.


How Long Does a Student Loan Last?

The standard duration of a student loan is the length of a course, typically 3 years in the UK. Students are eligible for student finance if their university or college offers a qualifying course that is recognised by the government.

If you are studying full-time, student finance is available for the following types of courses: 

  • First degrees (BSc, BA or BEd)
  • Foundation degrees
  • Certificate of Higher Education
  • Diploma of Higher Education
  • Higher National Certificate
  • Higher National Diploma
  • Initial Teacher Training course
  • Integrated master’s degree
  • Pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course 

There is a lot of variation between these course types and specifically their duration. However, student finance provides funding for the duration of the course. Part-time courses are eligible for student finance in the UK as long as there is a ‘course intensity’ of 25% or more.

Those studying a first degree, Initial Teacher Training course, integrated master’s degree, Foundation Degree in dental hygiene and dental therapy or a DipHE in dental hygiene and dental therapy or operating department practice are also eligible for a Maintenance Loan throughout their course.


Can I Get Student Finance if I Have Already Studied?

Student finance is only usually available for your first higher education qualification. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if you changed course, had to stop your studies prematurely or are repeating a year, you may be entitled to receive student finance again.




If you stopped your studies within the first year and went back to study the same degree or a different course in the future, you will get funding when you go back. You may also receive funding if you withdrew from your course before it finished or are repeating a year of your course in the same university or institution.


What Is the Maximum Amount of Student Loans You Can Borrow in the UK?

Full-time and part-time students who are eligible can borrow up to the full cost of their course fees (up to £9,250 annually), regardless of their personal circumstances or household income.

The average student in the UK leaves university with a debt of around £35,000. 


If I Have To Repeat a Year, Can I Still Get Student Finance?

If you have to repeat your year or extend your study, you will still be able to get student finance; typically, both for a Tuition Fee Loan as well as a Maintenance Loan.




Your Tuition Fee Loan will last for the full duration of your first course plus an additional year, if needed. On occasion, your personal circumstances may be such that you can request an extra year of financial support if you do not have enough years left of funding to cover your course fees.


If My Academic Year Is Extended, Can I Receive Student Finance?

If for any reason your academic year is extended beyond the standard 30 weeks and 3 days, it is possible to receive a ‘Long Courses Loan’. This is only available if the teaching is extended. If you are finishing your course at a later date due to ongoing re-assessment, it will not be possible to extend your student finance.

Your university or college will have to inform the Student Finance governing body about the extension in order for the Long Courses Loan to be approved.